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Three family members arrested in burglary cases

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A joint investigation by local law enforcement led to the arrest of three family members alleged to be involved in a rash of city and county burglaries Monday.

Andrew J. Knight, 21, Indianapolis, Tina M. Knight, 44, and Stephen C. Hamman, 19, both from Brazil, were arrested after a property owner reported a burglary in progress at Lawson Welding Shop, 10516 N. County Road 200 East, Harmony.

The three suspects are related -- Andrew is Tina Knight's son, while Hamman is Tina's nephew.

The property owner was able to provide Clay County Sheriff's Deputies James Switzer and Brison Swearingen with a description of the suspects, a white SUV used during the incident and its license plate.

Meanwhile, members of Brazil City Police Department were performing an investigation at a second burglary at Skelton TaeKwonDo, 213 N. Depot St., Brazil.

Around 12:30 a.m., the deputies issued a dispatch to all on-duty officers with the suspects' information. Within minutes, members of the BCPD stopped a vehicle in front of the Clay County Justice Center matching the description of the one alleged to be involved in the Harmony burglary.

Hamman, the owner/driver, and an unidentified passenger who denied involvement in the burglary were taken into temporary custody for questioning. The passenger was released, but Hammon parked his vehicle at the jail and met with officers inside.

Officers, acting on information provided by Hammon, went to local residence to question Tina Knight and Andrew Knight. The two volunteered to go to the Clay County Justice Center for questioning.

Officers Switzer, BCPD Det. Clint McQueen and Sheriff Heaton questioned the suspects, after which all three were taken into custody on various theft/burglary charges.

Hamman was arrested on a preliminary burglary charge.

Andrew J. Knight and Tina M. Knight were arrested on preliminary charges including burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of stolen property, theft and trespass of real property.

Brazil Police Chief Terry Harrison said the arrests have helped close out several local burglary cases.

During the course of the investigation, BCPD officials discovered evidence that allegedly links the three suspects to several burglaries within the city, including John and John Plumbing, Clay County Senior Center, Family Hair Quarters and Clark's Auto Repair.

With the investigation still ongoing, Sheriff Heaton said the suspects have not made what is considered full confessions, but they have provided information that matches different aspects of various burglaries throughout the county.

While all three are awaiting arraignment at the Clay County Justice Center, officials are continuing the investigation.

Once it is concluded, Heaton said the sheriff's department would release information about the suspects' potential involvement in other county burglaries.



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